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David Albert concurs. “The class is small enough … that you get to really know your classmates … I’ve just found other students to be extremely helpful. I’ve never had anyone tell me if I missed a class that they won’t share their notes.”
Then, too, there’s the astounding number and variety of student clubs – a reflection of students’ manifold interests. More than forty clubs have replaced the fraternal groups of old. Organized around race, gender and identity, there are political, sports, law reform, law and medicine, law and business, law and real estate groups – all of which give students with similar ideas and interests a vehicle to meet.
There’s the drift away from campus for after-school social life. More students used to live in the dorms and spend more time on campus, watching movies and going to parties. Now, many students tend to live downtown. “Students are much more quality-oriented,” Clinton says. “Students have more money … and they spend more time away from school, because they’ve got better apartments, better opportunities for socializing at other places.”
There’s the dispersion of students. Today, nearly 70 percent of students come from outside the Mid Atlantic states. “Maybe that student in Arizona wouldn’t have applied to Penn twenty years ago, and now sees Penn as a top choice,” Verrier says.
Certainly, Penn was David Albert’s first choice. “(Penn) has an international reputation that automatically makes it a great place to be, especially if you want to have an international career,” Albert says.
On the whole, the well-traveled Albert would rather be in Philadelphia, at Penn, which manages to maintain a fine balance between innovation and tradition.
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